Waste and recycling company SITA UK – a subsidiary of SUEZ Environnement (Paris: SEV, Brussels: SEVB) – has opened a new £7 million solid recovered fuel (SRF) facility in Birmingham to process commercial waste from across the city into fuel for a CEMEX cement works in Rugby.
SITA explained that waste going into the Landor Street plant is repeatedly sifted and shredded. Metals, plastics and paper are taken out for recycling and anything with a high water or chlorine content, which would harm the cement-making process, are also removed.
According to the company the resulting confetti-like flakes, known as Climafuel, have a high calorific value and are ideally suited to replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.
The company added that the fuel is continuously analysed as it is being produced, using the latest infra-red technology, to ensure that it meets the standards required by CEMEX.
However, SITA also said that any material which doesn’t meet the CEMEX specification can still be used elsewhere as a refuse derived fuel (RDF) – meaning that so hardly any of the 100,000 tonnes of waste entering the facility each year ends up in landfill.
“Traditionally a significant proportion of Birmingham’s commercial waste has gone to landfill, but space is running out and as an environmentally-conscious company we would rather see the waste put to good use,” commented Ben Harding, general manager, material sourcing at SITA UK.
Ian Southcott from CEMEX added: “We have been successfully burning Climafuel at Rugby since 2007 and during that time we have been steadily increasing the proportion we use.”
“At the moment, we source Climafuel from a number of plants around the UK and to be able to secure supplies locally genuinely provides a local solution to the local problem of how best to utilise the waste that the community generates,” continued Southcott.
The facility is still being tested, but when it is fully operational the company said that it will process 22 tonnes of waste an hour.
Furthermore, SITA said that a second facility producing Climafuel is planned at Malpass Farm, next to the Rugby cement works. Work is expected to commence this summer, with the plant becoming operational in 2014.
Together the two plants will produce around 250,000 tonnes of Climafuel a year.
Source: Waste Management World